Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Spotlight On Sports

Kotoko Lose But March On

A clue to Ghana's reputation as the soccer lords of the African continent is being provided every week in the ongoing national league among twelve first division clubs.

Its competitive nature could be seen from the manner the nation's champion club Kumasi Asante Kotoko stopped in their tracks in a league match on August 21, by Sekondi Eleven Wise.

Dubbed the 'Western Show Boys', Sekondi Eleven Wise desperately needed to beat the champions to improve upon their position on the league table and escape relegation from the first Division. This they did at their home ground to the satisfaction of their teeming supporters who later took to the streets to celebrate their most important victory of the competition.

For Kotoko, the defeat was a severe blow to their prestige as they failed within two consecutive weeks to win a match. Their defeat by one goal to two however cannot apply the brakes to their championship aspirations.

Having accumulated twenty nine points from eighteen matches, and six clear points ahead of their closest rivals, Kotoko are in an unassailable position to retain the league title..

In the same competition Accra Great Olympics spanked another formidable team from Sekondi Hasaacas by three goals to nil. The two teams however, re- main at par with twenty three points each but Olympics with superior goal aggregate are placed second while Hassaacas are third on the league table.

Blackpool set to win

Mighty Blackpool, hot contenders for the league trophy were halted by Sierra Fisheries in an exciting encounter which ended in a 1-1 draw.

By this score Fisheries have become the first team to have scored a goal against Blackpool this season.

According to eyewitness account, Blackpool were lucky to have ran away with the draw score. Fisheries strikers. Abu Sankoh and Elvis Boyle Leigh threw away two possible goal scoring chances. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the pitch was water-logged, a situation which provided little room for the fisheries players to outmanoeuvre their opponents.

Seven of their players are back from a training course with the national team in Western Germany.

Mighty Blackpool also had their moments of glory as they pinned the fisheries stars to their half of the field. Their equalizer came during one of their daring moves.

Below is the League Table as at August 23.


Kotoko 9 8 0 1 23 10 9 6 1 2 15 9 29
Gt. Oly 9 6 1 2 14 6 9 3 4 2 12 11 23
Hasmal 8 6 2 0 14 3 10 4 1 5 11 12 23
Hearts 9 3 6 0 14 9 9 4 2 3 11 12 22
Tano 9 3 4 2 7 6 9 2 3 5 6 13 17
Wise Corners 10 6 2 2 11 5 8 1 0 7 4 13 16
RTU 9 3 2 4 8 10 9 2 4 2 8 11 16
Okwahu 9 7 0 2 17 7 9 0 4 8 8 21 15
B.A. Utd 9 4 3 2 11 7 9 0 4 5 4 6 12 14
Traders 9 2 3 2 9 8 9 1 2 6 6 13 13
Stands 9 3 2 4 7 12 9 1 3 5 8 13 13

Green Eagles Reach Cup Finals

The Nigerian national team, the Green Eagles have qualified to take part in the finals of Africa's most prestigious soccer competition dubbed the 'nation's cup soccer competition

Six other countries, alongside Nigeria and host country Ivory Coast will vie for the championship title which takes place in April next year.

For the Green Eagles it was a hard struggle during which they had to dispose of the national teams of Angola, Togo and Morocco. However, it was the Moroccan hurdle which presented the biggest scare after the Moroccan, had drawn with the Nigerians in Lagos.

But with determination and dedication The Green Eagles flew all the way from Nigeria to conquer the North Africans at the Rabat sports stadium on August 28. Incidentally, the commissioning of the newly built Rabat sports stadium had been timed to coincide with this all important match which the Moroccans had sworn to win. One could therefore imagine the disappointment of the 60,000 Moroccan spectators who thronged the stadium to watch this baptismal match.

The ninety minutes of the game were both tension and action packed as the Moroccans attacked incessantly while the Nigerians, spearheaded by goalkeeper Peter Rufai defended stalwartly. The drama of the match came midway when the Algerian referee, pressed by the Moroccans who suspected the Nigerian goalkeeper of carrying juju around his waist, had to search him. Nothing, however, was found on him. But the jinx was to work later as Rufai managed to save Skipper Stephen Keshi two penalty kicks at the end of the drawn game. The final result therefore was 4-3 in favour of the Green Eagles.

The Moroccans failed to win the match but they endeared themselves to the Nigerians as they hugged them. all over the place. Certainly the Nigerians were very grateful for this gesture which they hope to inculcate into their fans back home in Nigeria.

Commenting on the wonderful performance of his boys the chief coach of the Nigerian football association Mr. Adegboyeaga Onigbinde pledged that they would qualify for the 1984 Olympic games too. But he promptly added, 'the Black Stars of Ghana are our next opponents and we are getting ready for them'.

Mali suspends national team

The 17 member national soccer team of Mali has been suspended for six months by the football federation following the players' demand for better match bonuses and the right to drink more tea.

Mr Cheik Diarra, Chairman of the Mali football association called the players' action a rebellion which he said occurred on the eve of a cup match with the Gambia on June 29. The players complained about training conditions, bonuses and limits of their consumption of tea which Malians are said to drink in 'prodigious and potent quantities'.

Mr Diarra said that the suspension would set an example but pledged that the Malian team would take part in the forthcoming regional competitions. ...
"Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink..... do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field

(Reflections on the Revolution in France - Edmund Burke).


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